$16.4 Million Bond on Ballot to Pave County Roads in Loving County 11/1/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
November 1, 2012
Mentone – One-hundred-twenty people will decide whether or not a $16 million bond to pave two vital county roads will pass.
On these two roads, more traffic drives on them in one day than the number of people living in the entire county.
Skeet Jones takes this bumpy road to work every day, covered in caliche it looks like it is a private lease road, but in fact, it's one of the most traveled roads in Loving County.
"This is considered good," Jones said.
Jones is the Loving County Judge and has been working for over year to get County Roads 200 and 300 paved.
Since the oil boom began, the county has spent twice as much on road repairs that only last a couple of months.
"It comes apart and we felt like it wasn't doing the job for us because of the heavy traffic," Jones said.
The rough caliche roads make visibility limited, which has at times kept emergency crews from getting to accidents and fires.
"The fire department came out to fight the fires and wouldn't go down the roads," Jones said.
The county's solution is to pass a $16.4 million dollar bond to pave the roads, which would cost tax payers $17 dollars a year for the next 15 years.
"The residents of the county won't be paying a lot. It'll cost them very little," Jones said.
The overwhelming amount of oil field traffic is giving Loving County the potential to grow, but without paved roads, companies are afraid to come to town.
"They're hesitant to build an office space off of that road. If it was paved, they'd be more inclined to build an office space," Jones said.
Without the road repairs, it'll be a bumpy ride for drivers and the county for years to come.
If the bond is passed, construction of the new roads could take up to two years.
The amount of traffic on these roads meet the requirements for them to be maintained by TxDOT.
County officials say if the bond is passed, the county will build the roads to TxDOT standards with hopes of them taking over responsibility of the roads in the future.